7 Best Small Towns in Colorado to Raise a Family – 2022 Update

We updated this unbiased review of the best small towns in Colorado to raise a family for 2022 based on the latest data on and reviews from residents.

The Rocky Mountain State is home to some of the best places to relocate to, especially for families who want a safe and well-balanced experience.

Colorado is world-renowned for its mountain landscapes, forests, canyons, and rivers. There are numerous towns and cities across the state that look exactly like they came from your desktop wallpaper.

While Colorado offers some great metro areas, you might want to search for some more scaled-down options that offer better safety and peace compared to the big cities.

Additionally, Colorado offers a great experience throughout every season, with warm sunny weather during the summer months and snowy and cold winters, especially in the cozy mountain towns.

So, let’s see what our choices are for the best small towns in Colorado to raise a family.

Best Small Towns in Colorado to Raise a Family – Our Research Methodology

You can rest assured knowing that this list was comprehensively researched, completely unbiased, and fully objective. We took several main factors into consideration to determine the best places out there.

First, we had to define how small a “small town” should be. For this list, we limited our search to towns with about 10,000 residents or less.

Then, we evaluated all the remaining towns across Colorado based on several key criteria, including:

  • Cost of Living
  • Home Prices & Availability
  • Amenities & Entertainment
  • Quality of Schools
  • Crime Rates
  • Cultural & Community Events
  • Overall Livability

We used Niche.com’s database of public school grades to evaluate the school systems, and AreaVibes’ statistics for safety estimations that are based on the latest FBI reports.

The vibe in each town was also an important consideration for this list, which we determined based on the feedback and reviews of current residents in each town.

So, we quantified all of these inputs and scored each town. What we discovered was a diverse blend of picture-perfect locations for you and your family to relocate to in Colorado.

The 7 Best Small Towns in Colorado to Raise a Family in 2022

7. Estes Park

best-small-towns-in-colorado-to-raise-a-family-Estes-Park

Population: 6,230
Cost of Living Index: 5% Above Colorado Average
Average Home Price: $673,216
Crime Rates: 55% Lower than National Average
School Grade: A

Location: Check on Google Maps

The quaint mountain town of Estes Park starts off our list of the best small towns to raise a family in Colorado.

It is located right in the heart of the Rocky Mountains and is about an hour away from both Boulder and Fort Collins.

Estes Park is also the most affordable town on our list, with an overall cost of living that is only 5% above the Colorado average.

It is a classic mountain village that is relaxed and free-spirited. Get ready for horseback riding, lodging, and plenty of other fun outdoor activities with your family.

It is also a place where the wildlife roam free. Don’t be surprised if you bump into a herd of elk or maybe even a bighorn sheep.

Meanwhile, Estes Park will keep your family safe and sound given that crime rates are 55% below the national average.

6. Telluride

best-small-towns-in-colorado-to-raise-a-family-telluride

Population: 1,972
Cost of Living Index: 57% Above Colorado Average
Average Home Price: $1,359,422
Crime Rates: 49% Lower than National Average
School Grade: A

Location: Check on Google Maps

Telluride is a cute little ski town that is located in the southwestern part of Colorado, just a few hours from the border with Utah and New Mexico.

It has even been ranked as the #1 ski resort in North America multiple times.

Telluride features terrain that is a perfect challenge for a family hike in any season along with tons of things to do around its picturesque town.

There are also numerous summer festivals that take place in Telluride every year that help bring the community together in this cozy mountain town.

Its school system is also highly regarded while the town is safer than most places in Colorado, with crime rates that are 49% below the national average.

Additionally, the city of Telluride was even ranked as the 4th best city to live in Colorado according to our team at Strategistico.

5. Castle Pines

best-small-towns-in-colorado-to-raise-a-family-Castle-Pines

Population: 10,389
Cost of Living Index: 31% Above Colorado Average
Average Home Price: $953,159
Crime Rates: 47% Lower than National Average
School Grade: A+

Location: Check on Google Maps

Castle Pines is the biggest place on this list of best small towns in Colorado to raise a family. It just surpassed our population limit of 10,000, but we couldn’t help but to include this quiet village right outside of Denver.

This relatively new town was incorporated in 2008 and is located just a quick half an hour drive from Denver. It offers residents a handful of leafy, tree-lined neighborhoods along with a village square with shops, restaurants, and cafes.

Golfing is also a big part of Castle Pines, along with other outdoor sports that residents have easy access to.

Meanwhile, its strong school system earned an A+ grade from AreaVibes and its great reputation for safety makes it a top choice for families.

Finally, Castle Pines’ proximity to Denver makes it a great option if you want to live in a small town but have easy access to a large job market and the entertainment and amenities that the big city can offer.

4. Columbine Valley

Population: 1,190
Cost of Living Index: 64% Above Colorado Average
Average Home Price: $1,555,737
Crime Rates: 36% Lower than National Average
School Grade: A+

Location: Check on Google Maps

Columbine Valley is the least populated town on this list, which makes it one of the best small towns in Colorado to raise a family for those who truly want a small-town feel where you can learn everyone’s name.

This suburb of Denver is also just a quick 20 minute drive away from downtown Denver.

With highly-rated schools and exceptionally low crime rates that are 36% below the national average, this tiny town with a population of just over 1,000 residents is a high-caliber option for families. 

In addition, there are many parks to spend Saturday afternoons with your family and diverse options for outdoor activities as well.

There is also a strong sense of community in Columbine Valley, including an annual concert series hosted in the town hall.

You will find many retirees in this town, too, which reflects its overall wholesomeness.

3. Niwot

Population: 4,588
Cost of Living Index: 33% Above Colorado Average
Average Home Price: $1,065,445
Crime Rates: 64% Lower than National Average
School Grade: A+

Location: Check on Google Maps

Niwot is a small town with a quiet community located right at the foot of the Rocky Mountains and just 15 minutes from Boulder, Colorado. 

Residents here can enjoy the splendid Old Town district, which offers locally-owned shops, restaurants, craft beer breweries, and cozy coffee shops.

Niwot also features a great school district that earned an A+ from AreaVibes

It is a safe community, too, with crime rates that are 74% below the US average.

All of these facts make Niwot one of the best small towns to raise a family in Colorado.

2. Meridian

Population: 3,327
Cost of Living Index: 10% Above Colorado Average
Average Home Price: $818,099
Crime Rates: 56% Lower than National Average
School Grade: A+

Location: Check on Google Maps

Meridian is a small town with many quiet neighborhoods that is located 20 minutes south of Denver.

It is a good place to live for families who can easily commute to downtown for work. But, this small town is one of the few that also features several large corporations right in town.

Big names like the Discovery Channel, Starz Entertainment Group, and the Sierra Nevada Corporation all have a corporate office in Meridian.

It’s also perfect for families with kids of any age. There are some must-visit state parks, good family restaurants, and cozy coffee shops across the town. 

The school system in Meridian is well-regarded as well and the town’s crime rates are 68% below the country’s average, making it an ideal spot for families.

1. Evergreen

best-small-towns-in-colorado-to-raise-a-family-evergreen

Population: 8,580
Cost of Living Index: 20% Above Colorado Average
Average Home Price: $905,739
Crime Rates: 48% Lower than National Average
School Grade: A+

Location: Check on Google Maps

Evergreen tops our list as the best small town in Colorado to raise a family. It is located about 40 minutes southwest of Denver and offers a unique mix of small town charm and mountain living energy.

The community is open and welcoming to everyone – singles, young families, and retirees all are warmly received in the quaint Evergreen.

This Rocky Mountain town also features abundant wildlife and some of the best hiking trails right in town.

Meanwhile, the town itself offers a historic downtown, where you can find locally-owned boutiques, gourmet restaurants, and neighborhood coffee shops.

There is also a great sense of community around Evergreen, with numerous festivals and events throughout the year as well. Don’t miss the Evergreen Holiday Walk or the Evergreen Fine Arts Festival.

This town is great for raising kids since there are plenty of things to do, excellent schools, and low crime rates.

Best Small Towns in Colorado to Raise a Family – Summary

After looking through all the data and reviews, the best small towns to raise a family in Colorado are:

  1. Evergreen 
  2. Meridian
  3. Niwot
  4. Columbine Valley
  5. Castle Pines
  6. Telluride
  7. Estes Park

While it’s hard to choose just one, we encourage you to investigate all of them further and even visit some of these charming little towns.